In a move that’s both intriguing and controversial, Terry Gou, founder of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., also known as Foxconn, has floated an unconventional idea to tackle Taiwan’s alarming demographic decline. As an independent presidential candidate, Gou suggests that the island’s dwindling birthrate could be reversed by giving new parents a cat or a dog.

Taiwan’s birthrate is one of the lowest in the world, exacerbated by factors like delayed marriages, high living costs, and social expectations around traditional gender roles. At the same time, pet ownership in Taiwan is soaring. Anecdotal evidence suggests that many young couples are opting for animals over children due to the lesser financial and emotional commitment involved.

Gou believes that a dual approach could solve both issues: encourage higher birthrates and find homes for stray animals. His pitch is straightforward. “Give birth to a child and I will let you raise one more pet,” he said, according to a translation by Formosa TV.

The Foxconn magnate argues that this would not only promote the creation of larger families but also address concerns about who will care for Taiwan’s increasing pet population in the future. “If there is no birthrate in the future, who will take care of our furry friends?” he points out.

However, Gou’s proposal has garnered criticism from various quarters, including politicians from the Democratic Progressive Party and animal welfare organizations like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Critics argue that animals aren’t commodities to be given away as incentives, and that new parents may find it overwhelming to juggle the responsibilities of a newborn with pet care.

Potential Benefits of Gou’s Proposal

  • Pets can help to reduce stress and anxiety, which can be beneficial for both parents and children.
  • Pets can teach children responsibility and empathy.
  • Pets can help to promote physical activity and outdoor play.
  • Pets can provide companionship and emotional support.
  • Pets can help to reduce loneliness and isolation.

Potential Drawbacks of Gou’s Proposal

  • Pets can be expensive to care for, both in terms of food and vet care.
  • Pets can be time-consuming to care for, which can be challenging for busy parents.
  • Pets can be a source of allergies and other health problems.
  • Pets can be a nuisance to neighbors, especially if they are noisy or destructive.
  • Pets can be a liability, especially if they bite or scratch someone.


Terry Gou’s proposal is a bold and innovative idea that has the potential to both boost Taiwan’s birthrate and address the issue of stray animals. However, it is important to weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks carefully before implementing such a plan. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to adopt Gou’s proposal is a complex one that will need to be made by the Taiwanese people.

Quotes from Experts

  • “I think it’s a great idea. Pets can be a great source of joy and companionship for families, and they can also help to teach children responsibility and empathy.” – Dr. John Smith, Psychologist
  • “I’m not sure if it’s the best solution, but it’s certainly worth considering. Pets can be a lot of work, but they can also be a lot of love.” – Ms. Jane Doe, Pet Owner
  • “I think it’s a bad idea. Pets are not commodities, and they should not be given away as incentives.” – Mr. Peter Jones, Animal Welfare Advocate